Amid ongoing COVID-19 and flu threats, security advocates urge prevention

TAMPA, November 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the nation’s largest independent kidney patient organization, announced the opening of the 2023 grant round for its AAKP Jenny Kitsen Patient Safety Award. The award funds a conference or program that advances new approaches to increase knowledge of renal patient safety and/or the dissemination of new research related to effective safety procedures among healthcare professionals responsible for patient safety .

(PRNewsfoto/American Kidney Association)

Immunocompromised and immunocompromised kidney patients, including dialysis patients and kidney transplant patients, remain highly vulnerable to COVID-19 and influenza and have been among the hardest hit populations in terms of mortality rates throughout the pandemic. COVID-19 pandemic. They are also at significantly higher risk of contracting hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), often associated with dialysis centers, hospitals and other healthcare settings. Kidney patients are medically fragile due to their weakened immune systems and usually manage several other medical conditions and comorbidities. Infections in kidney patients can be difficult to treat, require specialized care, and often involve hospitalizations and surgery. The consensus among political and medical experts is that high standards of patient safety and infection control in healthcare settings, strictly observed, save the lives of patients, reduce the burden on healthcare professionals and help to avoid unnecessary costs for taxpayers and insurers.

President of the AACP Richard Knighta former dialysis patient and current kidney transplant recipient, said, “Every kidney patient entering a medical facility, especially dialysis patients receiving care at dialysis centers, should know that their lives depend on the protocols of infection control managed by healthcare professionals and the seriousness with which healthcare systems prioritize their safety.This award highlights best practices in patient safety and infection control, the professionals responsible for maintaining the integrity of safety protocols and substantial efforts to protect the lives of patients while reducing the costs of care for taxpayers and insurers.

Organizations eligible to apply for the award include 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations, government agencies at all levels, and other organizations as indicated on the application. Applicants seeking additional information should contact Erin Kahle, Director of Patient Information, Data Analytics and Advocacy, by emailing [email protected] Applications are due December 30, 2022.

The AAKP empowers patients to take charge of their care and safety through an extensive online disease education program. AAKP collaborates with an extensive network of global and national kidney medicine experts and leading medical research institutions and universities on research initiatives focused on kidney medicine, detection and management of kidney injury. (ARI) and infection control and prevention (find out more). In 2022, the AAKP granted its first international safety recognition, honoring the Kidney Patient Support Group (RPSG) of the UK. The RPSG participates in the AAKP Global™ initiative and is part of AAKP’s growing international collaboration of patient organizations focused on patient-centric policy and innovation.

The AAKP is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure that certain infection control standards remain a priority in facility performance metrics kidney disease and reimbursement decisions related to kidney care. The AAKP is a founding partner of the CDC’s Making Dialysis Safer Coalition and an active participant in the CDC’s Federal Health Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). HICPAC is a federal advisory committee appointed to provide advice and guidance to the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding strategies for the surveillance, prevention, and control of hospital-acquired infections, resistance to antimicrobials and related events in healthcare settings. AAKP President of Politics and Global Affairs Paul T. Conway serves as the AAKP liaison to HICPAC. AAKP and CDC co-branded “Conversation Starter to Prevent Infections in Dialysis Patients,” a tool for patients and family members to initiate discussion with dialysis facility staff on infection prevention, and also produced the HealthLine webinar, “Making Dialysis Safer for Patients.”

To watch a recent AAKP webinar on the current threat COVID-19 poses to patients with kidney disease, watch the AAKP interview with Dr. Michael OsterholmDirector of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at University of Minnesota and a health expert who contributes to national media (watch OnDemand). At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the AAKP launched its COVID-19 Resource webpage to educate national and global patient audiences about what they could do to minimize their risk of contracting the virus. To date, the AAKP has hosted eight major national and international meetings and dozens of safety-focused educational sessions and HealthLine webinars to educate healthcare professionals, patients, and families about the danger of COVID-19, the evolution of vaccination strategies and best practices for risk mitigation. These programs have reached audiences in more than 90 countries, engaged tens of thousands of viewers, and involved experts from AAKP’s strategic partners at CDC, US Department of Veterans Affairs; American Society of Transplantation; the American Society of Transplant Surgeons; the Association of Renal Physicians; and the American Society of Nephrology.

The Patient Safety Award was established in 2014 by the former Network of New England, whose board created an endowment to continue the patient safety work of the nonprofit led by the former director. executive Jenny Kitsen. Past recipients include Dr. Alain Kliger, Chair, Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety, American Society of Nephrology (2022); Kidneys Quest Foundation (2021); Satellite Health Care (2020); Alabama A&M University (2020); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019); National Kidney Foundation (2018); National Association of Renal Administrators (2018, 2016); AT Still Oral Health University (2017); Support group for all kidney patients (2017); Association of Kidney Physicians (2016); American Association of Nephrology Nurses (2015); and ESRD Networks Forum (2015).

About the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP): Founded in 1969, the AAKP is the largest organization of kidney patients leading policy discussions about kidney patient care choice and therapeutic innovations. Over the past decade, AAKP patients have helped secure lifetime transplant drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients (2020); new patient-centric policies via the White House Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (2019); new job protections for living organ donors under the US Department of Labor’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (2018); and Congressional legislation authorizing HIV-positive organ transplants for HIV-positive patients (2013). AAKP’s virtual platforms and social networks are internationally recognized for their impact. Follow AAKP on social media at @kidneypatient on Facebook and @kidneypatients on Twitter, and visit its website at

Jennifer Rate Director of Marketing and Communications
[email protected]
(813) 400-2394



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